Multiple Finder Windows

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By default Mac OS X behaves in a way such that only a single Finder window opens at a time.  This guide will demonstrate how you can open more than one Finder window and alter how Finder behaves when you double click a folder.
Default Behavior
Let's say you have a Finder window open and you click on the Finder icon in the Dock.  By default Mac OS X will show you the current Finder window, this happens even if it's hidden under other application windows ,it will be brought to the front.  This behavior is drastically different when compared to Windows.  Whenever you click on Windows Explorer, "My Computer", or on a folder in Windows, a new window is opened.

Another default behavior is that Finder will open double-clicked folders in the current Finder window.  Suppose you double-clicked on the Macintosh HD on your Desktop, you'd be shown a Finder Window similar to the following:


If you then double-clicked on the Applications folder the Finder window will be updated to show the contents of the Applications folder:


Double-clicking on the AppleScript folder would show you the contents of the folder:


Open Additional Finder Windows
  1. Make Finder the active application (note that Finder is the default application in Mac OS X)
  2. Click on File in the Finder Menu
  3. Cick on New Finder Window
You can save clicks by simultaneously pressing on the Command and N keys.

Alter the Finder Double Click Behavior
You can configure Finder to open a window when a folder is double clicked.  Just note that this will eventually lead to numerous windows if the item you are attempting to reach is deeply nested.  The change is made via the Finder Preferences:

  1. Make Finder the active application
  2. Click on Finder in the Menu Bar
  3. Click on Preferences
  4. Check "Always open folders in a new window" (highlighted below)
finder_pref_01.pngNow when you use Finder and double click a folder, that folder will open a new Finder window.

  • February 26, 2009 - content modification, image updates
Created: 10:59 PM on Dec 23, 2006
By: switchtoamac